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Archive for June, 2012

Many of our senior citizens , and some who are not so senior as well , will remember with nostalgia those by-gone days when they would be waiting every week with baited breath for the arrival of the Manorama Weekly…
Just to turn to the last page to see what new mischief those irrepressible brats , Boban and Molly were up to that week…
And sure enough, the creator of that much sought-after cartoon strip would never disappoint those folks hanging on on tender hooks ..
He always delivered….!
Cartoonist Toms always did!

M/s. Toms, Sukumar and Seeri, senior kar2nists of Kerala ( Courtesy Kerala Cartoon Academy)

A small incident followed by the main ,longer incident – like an appetiser and the main course- that was the pattern of those cartoon strips, and both were equally delectable and rib tickling ! If the first elicited a chuckle the second longer one set you off rollicking in guffaws!

TOMS , the cartoonist par excellence, was born on the 20th June 1929. His father , the late V.T.Kunjuthomman , was a freedom fighter, who went to jail three times. His mother was late Cicily Thomas. He was born in Athikkalam House, Veliyanadu and baptised in St.Xaviers Church. While he was studying in S.B.College Chaganassery he got himself involved in the freedom movement and was sent to jail for fifteen days and later released. He took his B.A degree from
S.B.College Chaganassery and afterwards joined the Ravi Varma School of Arts in Mavelikkara, and studied art for three years.

As our luck would have it, it was during that period that he happened to notice two young ‘enfente terribles’, a boy and a girl called Boban & Molly, who were his neighbours. They were twins and very mischieveous!

And lo, the idea struck him in a flash!

He decided to model a pair of cartoon characters on them , calling them “Boban” and “Molly” and thus started the saga of “Boban and Molly”!.
– •
His first “Boban and Molly” cartoon appeared in Malayala Manorama weekly in 1955 , a half-page affair. Later he expanded it to a full page execution and published it in the same weekly. It went on for a long 30 years and was lapped up by the Kerala readers, with no questions asked!

It was therefore very unfortunate that towards the end he got entangled in some legal battle with his publishers over the matter of copy right of his creations. After 5 long years of fighting the case ,right up to the portals of Supreme Court, he finally won it !

The good,as they say, always wins in the end!

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